Around this time last year, a USA Today survey was released indicating how teenagers view religion. While most teens identified themselves as Christians, more respondents admitted they were more spiritual than religious. I can’t say that I’m really surprised here.
Over the years, report after report has been issued in which more and more religious figures have been made suspect in everything from sex scandals and Koran burnings to getting away from actually preaching the Gospel. So, it stands to reason that teens probably aren’t too thrilled with the concept of attending church every Sunday; especially if they feel the folks talking to them aren’t practicing what they preach.
If young people aren’t impressed by what they see in their churches or places of faith, my advice would be to address it head on. Begin to really examine and evaluate what it takes to be a religious man or woman and become the example you never saw. Challenge the adults in your faith community on whether they’re living up to the standards that they profess and teach. Most importantly — and this one is powerful — don’t mistake the flaws of the messenger with the overall message of peace, love and salvation that religion teaches. If you do, you’ll miss the whole concept of what faith, religion and forgiveness is all about.